By Adia Jildo
Teaching staff from the University of Bahr-el-Ghazal are downing their tools in a peaceful strike following failure of the government to respond to their demands as addressed in the letter passed to the Ministry of Higher Education, Science and Technology.
Joseph Lual Dario, the chairperson of the academic staff association in the University of Bahr-el Ghazal said their patience has run out saying they had already warned the Ministry of Higher Education on their next step if their demand is not heard and addressed.
“We are not going to teach from 8th to 10th November 2022. We have laid down our tools. There is no teaching in the University of Bahr-el-Ghazal for 3 days,” he said adding “The Ministry of Higher Education and the Ministry of Finance have failed to respond to the letters and now it has resulted to an industrial response today and the rest of the staff will follow.”
“We have spent one week without any proper communication from the office of the minister of higher education and neither from the ministry of finance to give us a clarity on our request.”
“There is no verbal communication or even a letter to make impact to our letter dated 29th October 2022,” he stated.
Lual said there is need for immediate implementation to the issue addressed in their letter to the ministry of higher education and the ministry of Finance saying a swift response will enable them to cut short their industrial action.
“We need urgent implementation of the new salary scale according to the bank inflation rate not the budgeting rate. We need all the payment of all the arrears from July till date. The new salary scale must include medical allowance, air tickets and also training of teaching staff whether internal or external,” he said.
Joseph stressed that they have lost a lot of academic staff to sickness and are not ready to lose anymore over their poor living conditions.
“Some of the MPs there are receiving 15 thousand united states dollars without anything in the budget but we are here not getting even that amount yet we give good services in the country,” he cited.
The chairperson of the academic staff association further appealed to the students to bear with them saying the situation has gotten out of their hands citing the death of academic staff that succumbed to illnesses.
“Enough is enough. We do not want to lose any professors. In 2019, we lost many lecturers to diseases, they could not afford air tickets, not even medical bills. They cannot travel for medication.”
“We are not silent, we are out of patience,” he said calling on the government and the council of ministers to look into the issue for their betterment and that of the students.
Attempts to reach the Minister of Higher Education Gabriel Changson Chang were futile by press time as he declined to pick repeated calls.